Professor Ève Morisi
My interests lie in French and Francophone prose and poetry from the 19th century to the present day. They focus on the intersections of poetic craft, politics, and ethics. My research to date has notably examined the representations of lethal human violence and resistance. Hugo and Baudelaire have been of particular interest for the 19th century; Camus and Algerian Francophone writers for the 20th and 21st centuries.
My first book, Albert Camus contre la peine de mort (Gallimard, 2011; pref. by Robert Badinter), was the first edited collection of Camus’s writings on the death penalty. It includes previously-unpublished material and presents the writer’s defence of numerous men condemned to death during Franco’s dictatorship, WWII and the purges that marked the Libération in France, the Greek Civil War, the repression perpetrated in Eastern Europe under Stalinism, and the Algerian War of Independence. This volume was the basis for a public exhibition that I curated at the Centre Albert Camus in Aix-en-Provence in 2012.
My second book, Albert Camus, le souci des autres (Classiques Garnier, 2013) investigated some of the ways in which Camus’s works and thought reject exclusion and establish a minimal threshold of the human. It showed that this author revives the polysemy, etymology, and mythology of “souci” (meaning both “care” and “concern”) while also highlighting the limits of such ethics and activism through a close examination of his journalism, fiction, correspondence, and public interventions. This essay was complemented by an edited volume on the broader question of Camus et l’éthique (Classiques Garnier, 2014).
At present, I am editing a volume called Death Sentences: Literature and State Killing (with Birte Christ). I am also beginning research on the representations of terrorism in modern and contemporary French and Francophone literary works.
I am fortunate to have received fellowships and prizes supporting my research, including the European Institutes for Advanced Study Fellowship (Paris IAS, 2015-2016), the Kirby Prize for best essay of the South Central MLA (2015), the Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship in French Studies of the Phi Beta Kappa Society (2010-2011), Princeton University’s Charlotte Elizabeth Procter Honorific Fellowship (2009-2010) and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Graduate Prize Fellowship of Princeton’s Center for Human Values (2009-2010).
Teaching and Research Supervision
I teach French and Francophone literature of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries on Paper VIII, some modern and contemporary prescribed authors on Paper XI, and translation from English to French to 2nd- and 4th-year students. For Prelims, I teach the close reading of short texts and French narrative fiction (Papers III and IV). I lecture on 19th- and 20th-century poetry and prose, including Charles Baudelaire, Albert Camus, Assia Djebar and “Writing Killing” in the modern period. I am currently co-supervising a doctorat on Camus, violence, and non-violence (with the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) and MSt dissertations whose topics intersect with my specialism. I welcome prospective graduate students who wish to work in compatible research areas.
Background / Access to Higher Education
I was educated at non-selective state schools in France and graduated with a BA in English and an MA in American Literature from Université Paris VII-Denis Diderot. After obtaining an MA in French with a comparative literature thesis at Columbia University and an MA at Princeton University, I completed a PhD in French literature jointly supervised between Princeton and the Sorbonne. I taught French and Francophone literature at the University of St Andrews (2011-2012) before taking up a post first as Assistant Professor, then Associate Professor of French at the University of California, Irvine (2013-2016). I joined St Hugh’s and the Sub-Faculty of French in December 2016. Having a particular interest in social diversity and widening access, I would be delighted to receive applications from outstanding students from a variety of schools, including non-selective state schools.
Books & edited collections
- Albert Camus et l’éthique. (Ed.) Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014.
- Albert Camus, le souci des autres. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2013.
- Albert Camus contre la peine de mort. Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 2011.
- “Staging the Limit: Albert Camus’s Just Assassins and the Il/legitimacy of Terrorism.” Critical Concepts of Terrorism. Ed. Peter Herman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
- “Putting Pain to Paper: Victor Hugo’s New Abolitionist Poetics.” Death Sentences: Literature and State Killing. Eds Birte Christ and Ève Morisi. Oxford: Legenda, forthcoming.
- “Visages de ‘l’art et la douleur’ chez Camus.” Camus: l’artiste. Eds. Agnès Spiquel et al. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2015. 235-246.
- “Théâtre de la justice et scènes de mort chez Camus.” Tout n’est-il que théâtre? Camus en scène. Ed. Jean-Louis Meunier. Le Pontet : Éditions A. Barthélémy, 2014. 103-124.
- “Albert Camus, la morale et l’éthique.” Camus et l’éthique. Ed. Ève Morisi. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014. 9-29.
- “European Visions in Albert Camus’s Abolitionism.” Visions of Europe. Interdisciplinary Contributions to Contemporary Cultural Debates. Eds. Anke S. Biendarra and Gail K. Hart. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2014. 121-137.
- “La Misère au quotidien. Camus et la Kabylie.” Camus au quotidien. Eds. André Benhaïm and Aymeric Glacet. Lille : Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2013. 101-119.
- “‘Poésie-boucherie.’ Baudelaire’s Aesthetics and Ethics of Execution.” Thinking Poetry: Philosophical Approaches to Nineteenth-Century French Poetry. Ed. Joseph Acquisto. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 75-95.
- “La Peine de mort dans les romans de Camus. Motif, mythe, éthique.” Albert Camus contre la peine de mort. Ed. Ève Morisi. Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 2011. 255-327.
- “Le(s) Sens d’un plagiat baudelairien : ‘Le Flambeau Vivant’ et ‘To Helen’ (1848) d’Edgar A. Poe.” Les Cinq Sens et les sensations: Lexicographie contrastive. Ed. A.M. Laurian. Collection Études Contrastives 8. Berne: Peter Lang, 2007. 183-197.
- “Baudelaire et Camus : penser la peine de mort.” La Revue des Lettres Modernes Série Albert Camus 23. Paris : Lettres Modernes Minard / Classiques Garnier, 2014: 263-81.
- “To Kill A Human Being: Camus And Capital Punishment.” Special Issue: A Centennial Celebration of Albert Camus. Ed. Robert Zaretsky. The South Central Review (journal of South Central MLA, Johns Hopkins UP) 31.3 (Fall 2014): 43-63.
- “L’Infanticide de la Médée cornélienne, ou le mal(e)-être héroïque.” La Revue du Paon d’Héra 5, spécial Médée 1/2 (Winter 2009): 93-111.
- “The OuLiPoe, or Constraint and (Contre-)Performance : ‘The Philosophy of Composition’ and the Oulipian Manifestos.” Comparative Literature 60 (Spring 2008): 107-124.
- “Camus hospitalier? Camus fraternel? Les Impossibilités de ‘L’Hôte’ dans le contexte colonial.” French Forum 32 (Winter 2007): 153-69.
- “‘À une dame créole’ de Charles Baudelaire : de l’ambiguïté colonialiste à l’ambiguïté plurielle.” Nineteenth-Century French Studies 35 (Spring/Summer 2007): 547-57.
Recent reviews and interviews (given and conducted):
- “A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning.” Book review of Robert Zaretsky’s monograph (Cambridge, MA and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2013) for The Historian 77.3 (Fall 2015): 632-633.
- “Camus, Charlie et le terrorisme.” Newspaper article for The Huffington Post (French version). February 9, 2015.
- “Vues de l’intérieur : les éthiques de Camus.” Interview of Roger Grenier, résistant, journalist, writer and friend of Camus. Camus et l’éthique. Ed. Ève Morisi. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014. 31-53.
- “Painting WWI, not quite by number.” Book review of Jean Echenoz’s novel 1914 (Trans. Linda Coverdale. New York and London: The New Press, 2014) for the Los Angeles Review of Books. July 11, 2014.
- “Camus, le ‘porte-silence des taiseux.’” Interview with Macha Séry for Le Monde. November 8, 2013.
- “Penser Camus en 2013: à la rencontre des Camusiens.” Interview with Max Leroy for Rage Mag (other interviewees : hip-hop singer Mystik, philosopher Michel Onfray, historian Benjamin Stora). November 7, 2013.